A new year is a perfect time for a fresh start, both in life and in business. However, while we all know the common personal resolutions (like losing weight, eating healthy, and saving money), it can be more challenging to come up with business resolutions.
Keep reading for ideas on business resolutions that will set your business up for success in the years to come.
Plan for Taxes
Nobody likes to get caught off guard by their tax bill, so a great business resolution to start with is to work with your accountant to plan for April. Then, while you’re at it, work with your accountant to develop a plan for all of 2022, so you have a solid tax strategy and don’t have to scramble in April of 2023. For example, one action item to consider if you’re a Schedule-C filer is to make sure that you are making estimated tax payments every quarter. Doing this helps save you from paying a year’s worth of taxes in April, and it will help you avoid penalties.
Another time-saving idea is to make sure you are actively tracking your business expenses every month. Many small business owners dread tax season because they have to review an entire year’s worth of expenses and either don’t remember details about their expenses or have lost receipts and important documentation. You can avoid these pains by knowing what receipts must be saved for taxes and for how long.
How much time do you waste throughout the year looking for files or paperwork that you’ve misplaced? If your answer is more than you’d like to admit, maybe it’s time to make a business resolution to get organized. If it’s a project that you dread, set a timer for as little as 5 minutes and just start. If you want to stop after 5 minutes, you can. But you’ll be surprised how much you can accomplish in as little as 5 minutes a day.
One important part of being organized is maintaining documentation for your expenses, so you are prepared for tax season. If you don’t know where to start, work on organizing and setting up systems around documenting expenses for tax purposes.
Set Up Systems & Automate
No one has the power to create more time; that is the one truly limited resource. However, automation can help save time, allowing you to work on your business instead of in your business. To automate, start reviewing your day-to-day tasks and your employees’ day-to-day tasks. Are there things they do every day that are mindless and similar from one day to another? For example, your customer service employees may be sending similar emails every day. On the other hand, maybe you’re spending hours emailing people back and forth to set up appointments.
These tasks are perfect examples of items that can be automated. For example, you can have your team create canned emails, so they’re not rewriting the same thing every day, and you can use a tool like Calendly or ScheduleOnce to make scheduling appointments faster and easier.
Here are 10 overlooked ways to automate your business for more ideas.
The best way to reinvest profits into your business is to think about what will help you save money, make money, or save time. While you and your staff review your systems and think of ways to automate them, think about things that would make everyone’s life easier and more efficient. For example, are your computers running slow? Perhaps it’s time to reinvest profits to upgrade them. Do your employees take frequent breaks because their chairs hurt their backs? Maybe it’s time for new furniture.
It’s also important to think about the customer experience. Are customers frustrated with a process in your business? For example, maybe your customers find the process of paying their bills difficult and time-consuming. If that’s the case, perhaps it’s time to invest in software to make payment processing easier and more efficient.
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We often don’t think about security until it’s too late. If security risks cause you anxiety, make the business resolution and take time now to increase and update your security systems. For example, you can work with IT to require everyone to update their passwords. You may also want to require security training, so you are less at risk of hackers, spamming, and phishing. Not sure where to start? Read our post on the top 4 internet security threats for small businesses to learn more.
Review and Update Outdated Policies
When was the last time you reviewed your company policies? What about your employee benefits package? To stay competitive, your business needs to change as well. Review your policies and decide if you need to make edits. For example, perhaps you didn’t allow remote workers in the past, but now this is something you’re planning on allowing. Will it be for a short period, or is this something you’re willing to commit to long-term? Make it clear where you stand and communicate this with your employees. Based on the changes to your policies, you may find it necessary to adjust your employee benefits packages as well. For example, if you commit to remote working, you may want to provide a cell phone and internet allowance for employees who work from home.
Review Your Marketing Practices
The Pareto principle, also known as the 80/20 rule, suggests that 80% of our results come from 20% of our actions. Keep this in mind, and review your marketing practices. Ask yourself, “What marketing practices are giving us 80% of our results?” Then, once you know what’s bringing in most of your business, work to do more of those things. This should help you grow your business easily and efficiently.